Thursday, January 18, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: An invitation to political corruption

Private is better? Prove it | Jan. 26, editorial

Invitation to political corruption

I can think of few things as morally reprehensible as the idea of prisons for profit.

I implore our legislators and governor to learn the lessons from what happened just a few years ago in Luzerne County, Pa. Two judges there were convicted of enriching themselves by taking kickbacks for sending minors to a for-profit juvenile detention center. Is this what we want in Florida?

The corruption inherent in such a system is already being demonstrated by the senators who are trying to force this horrible legislation through by circumventing our Sunshine rules. SB 2038 and 2036 must be relegated to the trash bin they were created in.

Stuart Berger, Clearwater

PIP reform plan gains more support | Jan. 26

Insurers making plenty

Why are Florida's legislators obsessed with reforming PIP benefits? The governor says attorneys are taking advantage of the public to the tune of $1 billion a year, according to the Tampa Bay Times. We are told that fraudulent claims and staged accidents have caused car insurance rates to skyrocket.

If this is true, why is it that every single day dozens of commercials are being run on Florida television stations by major insurance companies, each claiming to be able to write automobile insurance cheaper than their competitors? If automobile insurers are having it so tough making money with PIP as it is, why are all these companies fighting like cats and dogs to write more of it?

Now our governor wants to pass legislation that requires injured parties in an automobile accident to first be treated in a hospital emergency room. Restricting the rights of honest citizens to deal with their own physician is not necessary to deal with this problem.

And requiring people to see a physician within 72 hours is another bit of nonsense. An injured person may delay medical treatment for any of a number of legitimate reasons. Is such a person to have a claim for damages disallowed just to satisfy the whims of this Legislature and governor in their attempt to help profitable automobile insurers to make even more money?

Merrill Friend, Tampa

GOP debate

Questionable questions

The hosts of the debates continue to ask questions that seem not to be germane to the vetting of the candidates. Two from Thursday immediately come to mind:

1. State why your wife would be the best first lady. I thought we were electing a president, not a first lady.

2. Do you favor statehood for Puerto Rico? Did the questioner not know that Puerto Rico has rejected becoming a U.S. state three times, in 1967, 1993 and 1998?

And why would they want to? As it now stands they receive many benefits as citizens but most are exempt from federal income tax. They do pay into Social Security and Medicare. Where is the incentive to become state No. 51?

Robert E. Streich, Ocala

Study lauds role of early education in preparing poor students | Jan. 23

Early care pays dividends

I applaud the Tampa Bay Times for making this long-running child care study about the benefits of high-quality early childhood education (please, not "day care" as written in article), known as the Abecedarian Project, available to your readers.

If we want to improve the rankings of schools, it is important to properly finance early childhood education, where the foundation for learning begins.

In Florida, funding for early childhood education continues to decrease. There is concern among advocates for quality early childhood education that this trend could continue this legislative session, leaving a heavy burden on programs that work hard to provide quality learning communities for children and their families.

I remain hopeful that studies like the Abecedarian Project will help legislators see the value of investing in early childhood education.

Mona Jackson, board member, Pinellas Advocates for Children and Families Inc., Seminole

Immigrants help power economy | Jan. 27, commentary

Drain on the taxpayers

Kelly Kirschner gives us statistics about the impact illegal immigrants have on our agricultural industry but fails to state the impact illegal immigrants have on our health care, welfare and food stamps. I'll wager that these illegal immigrants are receiving subsidies that far exceed the agricultural profits to the states.

If the giant agriculture businesses would pay a decent wage to U.S. citizens, we would not be in the mess that is straining our economy.

Frederick Greene, Pinellas Park

Hate the attacks? Blame the PACs | Jan. 27

Greedy for PAC dollars

Hateful political ads, which all too often distort the truth, will only disappear when the media exercises its civic and moral responsibility and rejects running them.

While the First Amendment guarantees the right of those who wish to generate those ads, including PACs, there is no requirement that the media accept them. Rather, the media — either as individual corporations or as an industry — can self-regulate and determine to only accept political ads that are factual and respectful.

Only its greed for those PAC dollars prevents the media from acting.

Larry Silver, Oldsmar

Progress stalls Levy plan | Jan. 26

Outrages pile up

So the spokeswoman for Progress Energy does not want to reveal "details about what items the utility purchased, citing confidentiality." Incredible. Last I checked, this is a public utility, not the Iranian government. Has it been taken over by the mullahs? Are they stonewalling on nuclear weapons capabilities? Nothing would surprise me any more.

Please stay on these stories. It's outrageous.

Michael J. Mendelsohn, Tampa


Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18

Saturday’s letters: A wall of towers isn’t progress

Skyline takes shape | Jan. 7A wall of towers isn’t progressFirst of all, once the 17 projects currently under way are completed, there will be no "skyline." There will be a wall of buildings blotting out the sun and sky. St. Petersburg has become...
Published: 01/12/18

Friday’s letters:

Gang raped at 17. Getting help at 65 | Jan. 7Help available for assault victimsEach sexual assault survivor has a unique story to tell, and Evelyn Robinson’s experience illustrates many of the emotions, and society stigmas, faced by survivors.Sex...
Published: 01/09/18
Updated: 01/11/18

Thursday’s letters: Opioid bill could do more harm than good

Opioid bill opponents line up | Jan. 6Bill’s potential to harm patientsLegislators are proposing putting more restrictions on physicians’ ability to prescribe pain medications. Yes, the addiction problem is a serious one, and the law seems well-i...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/10/18